Archive for September 27th, 2017

The Sacramento Kings have extended the contract of General Manager Vlade Divac and exercised their fourth year option on Head Coach Dave Joerger, keeping both in Sacramento through the 2019-20 season.

“I am so excited to continue to build this team with incredible partners and want to thank Vivek and the entire Sacramento Kings organization for their support,” said Divac “Together, from ownership to the front office to Dave and his team, we’re unified in our vision for the future of this franchise. I look forward to the hard work and fun ahead as we strive to make Sacramento proud.”

“It is a great time to be in Sacramento and I’m thrilled by the opportunity to continue working alongside Vlade and the entire Kings organization,” said Joerger. “Together, we are bonded as a group focused on working hard and developing our team.”

Divac enters his third year as General Manager after taking the helm of Sacramento’s front office during the 2015-16 season. Most recently, he is credited with uniting young assets with proven veterans via free agency, trades and the NBA Draft. Over the course of the offseason, the former All-Star center augmented the Kings roster with first-round selections De’Aaron Fox (fifth overall), Justin Jackson (15th overall) and Harry Giles (20th overall) and National Player of the Year Frank Mason with the 34th overall pick. Additionally, Divac brought in future Hall-of-Famer Vince Carter, two-time All-Star Zach Randolph and veteran point guard George Hill to complement the young roster.

Hired in May of 2016, Joerger kept the Kings competitive with an eye on developing young talent during his first campaign in Sacramento, fostering growth from rookies Skal Labissiere, Malachi Richardson, Georgios Papagiannis and after a late season trade, 2016 sixth overall pick Buddy Hield. In his last 25 games since joining the Kings in February, Hield scored in double-figures on 22 occasions, averaging 15.1 points (.480 FG%, .428 3pt%, .814 FT%), 4.1 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and 29.1 minutes per contest, earning Rookie of the Month honors for games played in March and garnering NBA First Team All-Rookie honors. Similarly, Labissiere demonstrated significant improvement as the season waned, increasing his scoring and rebounding averages by 8.3 points and 4.5 per game, respectively.

Joerger joined the Kings after spending three years as head coach of the Memphis Grizzlies, where he accrued a 147-99 regular season mark (.598) and guided the franchise to postseason berths in each of his seasons at the helm. Prior to entering the NBA ranks, Joerger won accolades as one of the most successful minor league coaches in history, piloting five teams to championships in three different basketball leagues from 2000-07.

Rockets sign guard George de Paula

Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced today that the team has signed free agent guard George de Paula (POW-la).

Although not confirmed, the deal is probably non-guaranteed and just for training camp.

De Paula (6-6, 194) was an early entry candidate for the 2017 NBA Draft. The 21-year-old spent the past four seasons playing professionally in his home country of Brazil. De Paula, who also goes by “Georginho,” played for the Rockets in MGM Resorts NBA Summer League 2017.

Suns sign T.J. Warren to contract extension

The Phoenix Suns have signed forward T.J. Warren to a multiyear contract extension.

“We are excited about extending T.J.’s contract,” said General Manager Ryan McDonough. “T.J. has improved every year and we think he has the potential to continue to grow as he just begins to approach his prime. We view T.J. as an important part of our young core going forward and we are glad that we were able to reach an agreement on this extension.”

Per the Arizona Republic, “the contract, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, is worth $50 million over four years. McDonough said the deal will start in the 2018-2019 season.”

Warren, a 6-8, 215-pound forward, is entering his fourth NBA season and averaged career highs of 14.4 points, 5.1 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 31.0 minutes in 66 games (59 starts) in 2016-17. The 24-year-old also shot 49.5 percent from the field, placing 28th on the NBA leaderboard. One of the league’s most efficient scorers, Warren averaged 17.6 points on 56.0 percent shooting following last season’s All-Star break as he and LeBron James were the only wings, and two of just six players overall, to average at least 15 points and shoot at least 55 percent during the season’s second half.

Originally the Suns’ selection with the 14th overall pick of the 2014 NBA Draft, Warren holds career averages of 11.2 points, 3.7 rebounds, 0.9 steals and 24.4 minutes in 153 games, all with Phoenix. With a career field goal mark of 50.2 percent, he is one of just two players from the 2014 NBA Draft class (Nikola Jokic) to be averaging double-digits scoring while making at last half of his field goal attempts.

A native of Durham, North Carolina, Warren starred collegiately for two seasons at North Carolina State University. In his final season with the Wolfpack in 2013-14, he earned ACC Player of the Year honors and set a single-season school record with 871 points, breaking the 39-year-old record previously held by Hall of Famer David Thompson.

Celtics sign four additional players to training camp

The Boston Celtics have signed four rookies – Jonathan Holmes, L.J. Peak, Andrew White and Devin Williams – finalizing the team’s 20-player training camp roster that includes four returning players, three NBA All-Stars and 11 first-year players.

Holmes, 24, joins the Celtics after spending last season with the Canton Charge of the NBA G-League. In 30 games (20 starts), the forward averaged 12.8 points (44.0% FG, 37.2% 3-PT, 85.0% FT) and 6.5 rebounds in 28.4 minutes. The University of Texas at Austin product also competed in 10 games with FC Barcelona Lassa across the Euroleague and Spanish ACB, producing 5.9 points (52.6% FG, 45.0% 3-PT, 83.3% FT) and 3.0 rebounds in 14.4 minutes. Holmes previously donned a Celtics uniform as a member of the team’s 2015 Summer League squad. Competing in eight games (seven starts) between the Utah Jazz Summer League and Las Vegas Summer League, he tallied 10.0 points (48.1% FG, 46.4% 3-PT, 100% FT) and 5.0 rebounds in 20.2 minutes.

A three-year player at Georgetown University, Peak, 21, averaged 12.1 points (46.0% FG, 33.5% 3-PT, 76.4% FT), 3.1 rebounds 2.0 assists and 27.6 minutes in 98 collegiate games (76 starts). He averaged career highs in points (16.2 ppg), rebounds (3.8 rpg) and assists (3.5 apg) as a junior in 2016-17. Peak played in four games of the 2017 NBA Las Vegas Summer League as a member of the Houston Rockets, producing 7.3 points on 50.0% shooting (50.0% 3-PT, 100% FT) in 13.7 minutes.

White compiled 11.6 points (45.1% FG, 39.3% 3-PT, 78.6% FT), 3.7 rebounds, 0.6 assists and 22.6 minutes in 111 games (68 starts) between Kansas, Nebraska and Syracuse. The 24-year-old enjoyed a stellar year with the Orange in 2016-17, averaging a career-best 18.5 points (43.9% FG, 40.0% 3-PT, 83.7% FT) and 4.6 rebounds in route to earning Third Team All-ACC honors. In five Las Vegas Summer League games (one start) with Cleveland in 2017, White registered 7.0 points (36.4% FG, 50.0% 3-PT, 80.0% FT) and 2.4 rebounds in 12.6 minutes.

Williams, 23, spent 2016-17 competing both internationally with Melbourne of the Australian NBL, and with the Greensboro Swarm of the NBA G-League. In 16 games with Melbourne, he recorded 3.2 points (46.5% FG) and 4.0 rebounds in 10.5 minutes. The three-year West Virginia product finished the year with the Swarm, where he contributed 2.9 points (71.4% FG), 3.3 rebounds and 8.3 minutes in eight games.

Listed in its entirety below, the Celtics’ Training Camp roster includes four returning players – Jaylen Brown, Al Horford, Terry Rozier, Marcus Smart – from the team that logged the Eastern Conference’s best record and advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2016-17. Horford also joins newcomers Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving as the three players with NBA All-Star accolades on the current roster.

Marcus Morris (6 yrs.), Aron Baynes (5 yrs.) and Shane Larkin (3 yrs.) each boast valuable NBA experience entering the 2017-18 NBA season, while Kadeem Allen, Jabari Bird, Abdel Nader, Semi Ojeleye, Jayson Tatum, Daniel Theis and Guerschon Yabusele join Holmes, Peak, White and Williams as the 11 rookies on Boston’s Training Camp roster.

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